Sony DSC-T1 Review

Steve's Digicams

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1

Review posted 1/12/2004

Click on the T1 for a QTVR tour

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1 takes the same features found on full-sized digital cameras and squeezes them into a slim, stylish and durable metal body no larger than a deck of cards. The slim design of the T1 is attributed to a new Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar optical lens that operates within the camera rather than extending out. In spite of its compact design, the camera still features a five megapixel CCD image sensor and a 3X optical zoom to ensure great image quality.

Slide the front lens cover down and in just over one second, the T1's large 2.5-inch LCD viewfinder comes to life. It occupies roughly two-thirds of the camera's back-surface area, giving more room to see and show off images at the moment they are captured. Press the shutter release button and the camera demonstrates why it is perhaps the fastest five megapixel camera. Due in large part to Sony's Real Imaging Processor circuit, it shoots full-resolution images in one second intervals, and can capture four high-speed burst shots in less than two seconds.

But the camera offers more than just great still pictures, the T1 captures and plays back high resolution 640x480-pixel moving images in MPEG-VX Fine mode, good enough to make onlookers believe that it was captured with a digital camcorder.

The Cyber-shot T1 is packed with sophisticated auto-focus and auto-exposure options to help get the picture right the first time. Users can select from eight different shooting modes in accordance with the shooting conditions. The camera automatically makes the optimum settings to match the scene, making it easy to shoot high quality images even under difficult lighting conditions. In the Magnifying Glass scene mode, subjects that appear on the LCD screen are magnified up to 3.3 times,

Other miniaturization efforts include the development of a new rechargeable Infolithium battery system that is roughly the size of a matchbox and a tiny Memory Stick PRO Duo removable media slot. The USB port, A/V Out and DC jacks have also been relocated to the included camera docking station for charging the battery pack or connecting the camera to a TV or computer. The result is a camera that measures about 0.8 inches thin and 2.4 inches tall.

DSC-T1 Major Features:

  • 1/2.4" 5.1-Megapixel Super HAD™ CCD for up to 2592x1944 stills
  • JPEG (Fine/Standard), Voice Memo and E-Mail still image modes
  • Carl Zeiss 3X Optical zoom lens (38~114mm 35mm equivalent)
  • Auto, Program AE, Scene Mode (Twilight, Tw Portrait, Landscape, Snow, Beach, High Speed Shutter, Fireworks, Magnifying Glass)
  • Auto Shutter range 1 ~1/1000 sec; Auto aperture f3.5, f5.6, f8
  • Five area Multi-point Auto Focus, with AF Illuminator low light focusing assist
  • Slow Shutter NR subtractive noise reduction for long exposures
  • 49 Segment Multi-pattern measuring exposure system and Spot meter modes
  • 4 Mode flash (Auto/On/Off/Slow Synchro), TTL Pre-flash metering, red-eye reduction
  • White Balance (Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent and Flash)
  • Live Histogram display in record and playback modes
  • 4-shot 2.5fps Burst mode
  • Auto-Exposure Bracketing 3 shots w/0.3, 0.6, 1.0EV steps
  • MPEG Movie (w/audio) - VX Fine (640x480, 30fps), VX Std (640x480 16fps), email (160x112)
  • 2.5" 211k Pixel LCD; Transflective design reflects ambient light for increased brightness
  • Playback Zoom with selectable resolution trimming function, in-camera re-size and copy functions, A/V Output
  • Memory Stick Pro Duo compatible to 512MB, 32MB included.

The Cyber-shot T1 camera will be available in January 2004 for about $550.

Physical Views

Sony DSC-T1

Sony DSC-T1

Sony DSC-T1

Sony DSC-T1Sony DSC-T1

Sony DSC-T1

Sony DSC-T1

CyberShot DSC-T1 and Casio EX-Z4 for size comparison

Sony DSC-T1

Sony DSC-T1

Sony DSC-T1

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DSC-T1 Specifications

CCD Imager 1/2.4" Sony Super HAD
5.0 Megapixel Effective
Image Resolutions Still (JPEG Fine/Standard):
2592 x 1944
2592 x 1728 (3:2)
2048 x 1536
1280 x 960
640 x 480

640 x 480 MPEG-VX
640 x 480 Standard
160 x 112 Video Mail

Lens Carl Zeiss™ Vario Tessar 3X Optical zoom lens
(38~114mm 35mm equivalent), f3.5~4.4
Digital Zoom 4x-12x "Smart Zoom" now uses the full CCD image to avoid the usual degradation of digital zooms.
Focusing System Five area Multi-point Auto Focus, with AF Illuminator low light focusing assist

Manual Focus: 5 Step Preset
Focusing Ranges Standard AF: 25 cm to Infinity

A/F Macro: 8 cm to Infinity

Preset Manual Focus: 0.5m, 1.0m, 3m, 7m, Infinity

Aperture Control Automatic: f/3.5 ~ 8.0
Shutter Control Automatic: 1 seconds to 1/1000 second
Exposure Metering Multi-Pattern or Spot
White Balance System Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Flash
Exposure Compensation "+" or "-" 2 Stops(EV) in 1/3 EV increments
Exposure Control Full AUTO
Program AE
Scene Mode (Closeup, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fast Shutter, Fireworks)
ISO Auto (100-400) or fixed 100, 200, 400
Recording Mode(s) Still image:
    Email (records selected size image plus 320x240)

    Multi Burst (captures 16 frames and saves as 1280x960)

    Framing Burst (up to 4 frames w/LCD display)

    Speed Burst (up to 4 frames @ 0.33/sec, LCD disabled)

    AE Bracketing (3 shots, +/- 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0EV)

    Voice (record 5-40 sec of audio with still image)

Movie Mode:
    MPEG VX: 640x480 at 30fps w/audio - length determined by media

    640x480 at 16fps w/audio - length determined by media

    MPEG Video Mail: 160x112 - 8fps w/audio

DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Print Reserve, All print reservation, Date/time; Trimming
Noise Reduction Auto at 1/6 second or longer shutter speeds in Twilight, Twilight Portrait or Fireworks mode
Image Effects Sepia
Negative Art
LCD 2.5" TFT LCD (211,200 pixels) 960x220 for framing or reviewing
Flash Built-in Flash
Flash Modes Auto Flash
Red-eye Reduction
Slow Synchro
Fill-in (forced on)
Flash Off
Flash Working Range When ISO is set to Auto: ~1 to 5 Feet (0.3 to 1.5m) wide angle
Removable Media Card Memory Stick Pro Duo
32 MB card included
Selftimer 10-second delay
Outer Connectors Docking cradle I/O (USB 2.0, A/V, DC in)
Auto-connect USB high-speed Compatible with Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000 Pro/XP - MacOS 8.5-9.2/OSX
Supplied Software Pixela Image Mixer Software for Sony v1.5, USB Driver SPVD-013
Image Playback Index display 9 or 12 frame, up to 5X enlargement, Slide-show
Operating Environment Operation: 32° F - 104°F (0°C - 40°C)
Storage: -4° F to 140°F (-20°C to 60°C)
Power Supply NP-FT1 3.6v 2.4Wh InfoLITHIUM rechargeable battery
AC-LM5 adapter/charger included

Battery life:
    170 shots LCD backlight on
    200 shots LCD backlight off
Recording time:
    80 minutes LCD backlight on
    100 minutes LCD backlight off
Viewing time:
    130 minutes
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image date
Size 3.6" (W) x 2.4" (H) x 0.8" (D)
(91mm x 60mm x 21mm)
Weight 6.3 oz. / 180g (with battery, Memory Stick Duo)
NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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